Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: link
    • Member State: Belgium
    • Common Name:VZW Algemeen Ziekenhuis St-Lucas en Volkskliniek / D.S.D.
    • Decision type: Other
    • Decision date: 04/01/2012
    • Court: Hof van Beroep (NL)/Cour d'appel (FR) (Appellate court, Gent)
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff:
    • Defendant:
    • Keywords:
  • Directive Articles
    Unfair Contract Terms Directive, Article 3, 3. Unfair Contract Terms Directive, ANNEX I, 1.
  • Headnote
    MPA – scope of application – undertaking – hospital
    MPA – unfair terms – damage clauses – lack of reciprocity and equality – nullity - examination of its own motion by the court – compensation – legal interes
  • Facts
    A patient was invoiced for medical treatment in a hospital for an amount of 18.879, 79 EUR on type of which an annual interest of 10 % (from the 15th day after sending the invoice) (133,77 EUR) and a conventional compensation of 10 % (189,78 EUR) was claimed.
    The first instance judge examined the contractual terms of its own motion and annulled the compensation ~ and interest terms because of their unfairness. The hospital lodged an appeal.
  • Legal issue
    - A hospital is an undertaking within the meaning of the Market Practices Act.
    - The judge is required to examine of its own motion the unfairness of a contractual term where he has available to him the legal and factual elements necessary for that task.
    - Each clause that sanctions a breach of contract must be reciprocal. The reciprocity requirement also applies to late-payment interests. If the undertaking imposes a sanction on the consumer for a breach of contract, a similar sanction must be foreseen in case the undertaking breaches the contract. Perfect identity between the sanctions in the damages clauses is not required.
    - The fact that the consumer can obtain compensation under general contract law does not count for reciprocity within the meaning of the Market Practices act. Reciprocity and equality also counts for interest clauses on late payments. In case of nullity of the contractual compensation, the undertaking can still obtain compensation by general law (at the legal interest rate).
  • Decision

    Full text: Full text

  • Related Cases

    No results available

  • Legal Literature

    No results available

  • Result